Mumbai Food: Relish Japanese flavours with a twist at this week-long pop-up
A home chef curates a veg brunch to bust the myth that the state's coastal fare is only about kombdi and paaplet
Married into a Malvani family 16 years ago, the first dish that Pallavi Prabhu savoured wasn't kombdi vade or paaplet saar but traditional ras ghavane, featuring the soft, netted rice dosa, akin to neer dosa. It was accompanied by ras or coconut milk sweetened with jaggery and laced with nutmeg and cardamom. "My mother-in-law used homemade rice batter, and prepared it on a bhide [traditional griddle], which made ghavane perforated and softer," recollects the 45-year-old home chef, who will replicate this process on Sunday to offer ras ghavane as part of a vegetarian Malvani brunch. It will be hosted at a community table in the outdoor setting of the quaint Andheri venue, Little House.
"Most people believe Malvani cuisine features only seafood or chicken dishes, but there are plenty of vegetarian delicacies too. At home, we eat non-vegetarian food only three times a week. The idea is to get vegetarians to relish the cuisine too," says Prabhu, whose sister-in-law, Neeta, will help her with the preparations.
(Clockwise from left) Sambare, Vade, Ras, Chutney and Ghavane
"Both of us have taken it upon ourselves to retain authentic Malvani flavours through recipes passed down to us by our mother-in-law," she adds. For instance, her secret spices mix that will go into the making of sambare. This is made with black peas cooked in a coconut gravy, and is not to be confused with the south Indian sambhar. "She has hand-written the list of spices that go into the masala. Every year, we grind them together, and store about seven kilos. We mainly use it in sambare, a dish we make on special occasions like Janmashtami."
Participants at the brunch will get to savour sambare with vade, a fluffy puri-like preparation made using multi-grain flour and flecked with fennel and fenugreek seeds, usually had with chicken gravy dishes. "However, unlike a puri, you can't use a rolling pin to make vade. You have to pat the dough on a plastic sheet and deep-fry it."
On November 19, 9 am to 12 pm
At Little House, Yari Road, Versova, Andheri West.